#1
I just bought an old off brand guitar for $150 because the bridge pickup sounds SUPER hot, and it is perfect for electric blues. I used balsa wood blocks to lock the Floyd Rose bridge, because I palm mute and I don't use a wammy, anyway. I also shimmed the nut and adjusted the truss rod.

My electric tuner says my intonation is perfect, and it sounds right to my ear, but when my strings are all in tune when played open, they don't match up on the frets (i.e. when I fret the fifth fret of the low e, it is sharper than my open a; when I fret the fifth fret of the b, it is sharper than the open high e), and when they all match up with the 4th and 5th frets, the open strings are completely out of tune.

My gut says it's my bridge that needs adjustment. If that is the problem, how do I adjust the Floyd Rose while keeping it locked (not floating)? The whole bridge system is a pain in the butt, but I'm reluctant to put in a new bridge, because I think all the metal is what gives the guitar such a bright, piercing, tele-like tone. Or does this sound like a problem with the neck, frets, nut, etc?

I'm pretty new to all of this. Thanks for any help anyone can give. I'm only 17, so I really don't have any money to spend on the guitar right now. I had to borrow money from my parents just to buy it, and I still owe them back. All home fixes right now.
#2
Quote by SBR Blues
how do I adjust the Floyd Rose while keeping it locked (not floating)?

You don't. Loosen the locking nuts. Then, detune slightly and adjust the bridge.


The whole bridge system is a pain in the butt, but I'm reluctant to put in a new bridge,

It's not as big a pain as you think. You just haven't learn enough about it yet.

Also, you're not going to be able to just replace the bridge. FR-equipped guitars had the wood specifically cut for such a system. You can't just plop in a new bridge and expect it will even fit properly.

because I think all the metal is what gives the guitar such a bright, piercing, tele-like tone. Or does this sound like a problem with the neck, frets, nut, etc?

Intonation is adjusted at the bridge.

I'm pretty new to all of this. Thanks for any help anyone can give. I'm only 17, so I really don't have any money to spend on the guitar right now. I had to borrow money from my parents just to buy it, and I still owe them back. All home fixes right now.

Read this thread:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=614226

Also, after doing that, unblock your bridge. Really, if you set up a FR guitar properly, there is ZERO reason to block the bridge. Then, re-set up your guitar. Yes, it will probably take you an hour -- boohoo! As you get more used to setting up a FR-equipped guitar, it will take less time.
#3
But if I unblock the bridge, how do I palm mute? When it was floating, I couldn't touch the bridge without it changing pitch. Also, I do a lot of playing in alternate tunings, which I understand screws up the bridge setup.
#4
Quote by SBR Blues
But if I unblock the bridge, how do I palm mute? When it was floating, I couldn't touch the bridge without it changing pitch.

If you follow the process detailed in that thread link I gave you, it won't change pitch when you touch the bridge. The bridge should ONLY be moving when you use the tremolo bar (aka whammy bar).


Also, I do a lot of playing in alternate tunings, which I understand screws up the bridge setup.

Here's the thing, if you're going to be constantly changing tunings, then a guitar with a floyd rose is NOT for you. The whole point of a floyd rose is that it stays in tune more easily, with the assumption being that you won't be changing tunings very often. If you stay in one tuning most of the time, then a floyd rose will keep your guitar in tune much better than other tremolo systems.

However, if you're going to be changing tunings all the time, this pretty much defeats the purpose of the system. I recommend you either get used to playing in one tuning (hint: learn to transpose songs that aren't in your tuning of choice) or get a guitar that does NOT have a tremolo system of any kind, floyd rose or otherwise. Being forced to stay largely in one tuning (or spending hours upon hours weekly re-setting the guitar because you change tunings) is the limitation of a floyd rose.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Apr 8, 2014,
#7
Quote by SBR Blues
But if I unblock the bridge, how do I palm mute? When it was floating, I couldn't touch the bridge without it changing pitch. Also, I do a lot of playing in alternate tunings, which I understand screws up the bridge setup.


You'll need to adopt a new muting technique. There are countless Floyd players who palm mute without touching hard on the bridge. You know Dimebag? Adrian Smith? Kirk Hammett? KK Downing? Gary Holt? Steve Vai? To mute on a Floyd, you really must have your hand 'floating', while dampening the strings at the same time.
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#8
Quote by SBR Blues
But if I unblock the bridge, how do I palm mute? When it was floating, I couldn't touch the bridge without it changing pitch. Also, I do a lot of playing in alternate tunings, which I understand screws up the bridge setup.

You have to learn how to not be so heavy-handed

Just takes time and practice to get used to it, I remember by first experience with a floyd as a beginner and it felt like i only had to breathe near it to send it out of tune.
Actually called Mark!

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#9
Make sure your Floyd is level. A Floyd that's rocked forward or backward is off-scale by definition.

If you have high action, you'll pull your strings sharp when you fret them. Even worse, if you have tall frets (jumbos) and you're "gorilla gripping" your chords and pulling the strings down to the fretboard, your fretted strings will be sharp.

"Playing in a lot of alternate tunings with a Floyd-equipped guitar" isn't a smooth move if you don't have a Variax.

Learn to palm mute with an unblocked Floyd. It's a technique, but it's one that will serve you well. In short, Develop a Light Touch.

Oh, and while you're at it -- a "locked" Floyd is different from a "blocked" Floyd. If you've shoved a piece of wood into your spring cavity to keep the Floyd from moving, you've "blocked" it.